Sunday, August 31, 2008

Live from Houston - Dynamo v. Fire

That's Match, Dynamo Win! With this win, Dynamo sweep the Fire in 2008. Final Score, Dynamo 2 - Fire 1!

4 Minutes of Stoppage time.

88 Min. - 22,554 here at Robertson Estadio tonight.

88 Min. - Holden in for Davis, Houston's final sub.

87th Min. - Final sub for Chicago, Pappa in for Segares.

86th Min. - Patrick Ianni subs in for Eddie Robinson.

84th Min. - Eddie Robinson is down in front of the net. Doesn't look good at the moment.

82nd Min. - Nice anti-Blanco banner from Texian Army.

79th Min - Houston makes a sub, Kai on for Jaqua (I would have taken Ching off).

76th Min. - Chicago make another substitution - Banner on for Prideaux.

70th Min. - Soumare uses the horse collar on Jaqua.

70th Min. - I think it's time to take Ching off and put Kai on.

67th Min. - Chicago makes substitution - Herron on for Mapp.

62nd Min. - Yellow card, this time to Chicago's Blanco.

59th Min - Yellow card to Chicago's Soumare.

Second half is underway.

That's half-time, scoreline is Dynamo 2 - Fire 1.

At least 2 minutes of stoppage.

39th Min: Goal!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Brian Mullan, with assists from Brad Davis & Nate Jaqua.

35th-36th Min: Brad Davis gets really really close again.

20th Min: Clock is . . . . umm was . . . oh maybe is fixed.

Uh-Oh - Clock problem, it's going backwards, someone must thing the Cougars are still playing.

Not game related, but great image from

13th Min. - Which turns into a throw-in for Dynamo. With no goal.

12th Min. - Brad Davis get's very close on a free kick. And now a corner for Dynamo.

9th Min. - Dynamo were getting close to a second goal.

7th Min. - DeRo responds with a goal of his own!!!

5th Min. - Fire draw first blood. McBride with an assist from Blanco. McBride's first MLS goal since 2003.

John Thorrington already down on the pitch in the 3rd minute.

Dynamo in full on orange kits.

Starting are Onstad, Mulrooney, Boswell, Robinson, Barrett, Mullan, Clark DeRo, Davis, Ching, Jaqua.

For the Fire:

Busch, Prideaux, Conde, Soumare, Segares, Thorrington, Blanco, Pause, Mapp, McBride, Rolfe.

Game underway, about 93 degrees here and some pre-game rain.

I'm here at Robertson Stadium tonight for the Dynamo v. Fire match.

I'll sporadically update.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Hurricane Season - NSR

Well it's that time of year here along the Gulf Coast when storms develop and the television weathermen, and Wayne Dolcefino, get overly excited. For news and information that what been freaking out and in turn freaking you out, here's some good links:

Harris County's Homeland Security & Emergancy Management

NoLa - from The Times-Picayune

Houston Chronicle

Channel 2, KPRC - Houston, Texas (the best local television weather team)

National Weather Service:

National Hurricane Center:

Live in Houston area and want to be a volunteer? Here you go:

Friday, August 29, 2008

New Episode Available & Serie A Predictions

Episode 24 of World Soccer Wrap: Serie A is available for free on iTunes. I apologize for the delay, it seems Apple was giving us trouble again.

For the record, here are my predictions for how the table will look at the end of the season:

1. Milan
2. Roma
3. Juventus
4. Internazionale
5. Napoli
6. Fiorentina
7. Sampdoria
8. Udinese
9. Lazio
10. Atalanta
11. Genoa
12. Siena
13. Bologna
14. Palermo
15. Torino
16. Reggina
17. Catania
18. Cagliari
19. Chievo
20. Lecce

I discuss my reasoning in more detail on the latest episode.

Remember to send me your predictions, the one who gets it right are as close to possible wins a prize:

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Italian SuperCoppa & Red Bull v. Dynamo

Inter wins the SuperCoppa on penalties. The first silverware for Jose Mourinho in the Serie A.

Overtime ends, with 2-2.

English video feed is back up at:

Into second half of overtime, score is still 2-2.

You can watch the match, in Italian at:

You can listen to the match, in Italian at:

Dynamo fall to Red Bull with a 3-0 score. Extra time in Milano, but my feed is gone.

90 minutes over in Milano, score is 2-2

5 Minutes stoppage??? Really??

90th Min: GOAL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Vucinic scores a second goal for Roma! 2-2!

Time to bring Totti onto the pitch.

83rd Min GOAL!!! Balotelli for Inter (Balotelli came in for Figo in the 66th)

Good move by Coach Kinnear, Geoff Cameron in for Eddie Robinson. EdRob was not looking good today.

60th Min NY/HOU: GOAL!!!! Magee for Red Bull.

Holden in for DeRo at the Meadowlands. Then Holden gets roughed up some.

Second Half starts in New York

59th Min: GOAL!!!!!!!!!!!!!! De Rossi, Roma gets the equalizer!!!!!!!!!

Totti stretching, getting ready to come on the pitch. Roma needs some offensive leadership.

Second half underway in Milano.

Red Bull 2 - 0 Houston at halftime in the Meadowlands.

Inter 1 - 0 Roma at halftime

1 minute of stoppage in Milano.

26th Min - NY/HOU: GOAL! for Red Bull, Richards broke loose and Onstad couldn't stop it.

40th Min: Yellow to Ibrahimovic

Weird to see Mancini in an Inter kit.

9th Min - NY/Hou - GOAL! by Angel for Red Bull.

17th Min: GOAL! by Muntari for Inter Milan.

Meanwhile, the Red Bull New York v. Houston Dynamo match is underway. Ching is not starting, Jaqua and Kamara are the starting forwards.

14th Min: Ibrahimovic comes close again, he's looking dangerous, he's looking like his pre-injury self again.

9th Min: Aquilani tries and misses. (sorry about spelling errors, this is on the fly).

6th Min: Ibrahimovic comes real close to getting a goal.

Match is underway. Totti is in his kit, but on the bench. He might be used by Spalletti, he might not.

Where: San Siro, Milano, Italia

Who: Inter Milan v. Roma

Italian SuperCoppa - Where Available

I've heard that if you're in the states and have RAI International, it is available there.

It is also available for free on and Justin.Tv

Enjoy the match.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Calcio Femminile

As World Soccer Wrap: Serie A enters its first full season of coverage, I intend on extending my tradition of stretching the show's reach beyond just Serie A. This year I'd like to include some coverage of Calcio Femminile, but it's hard to find news on it, so I'm reaching out and asking that if you play in Calcio Femminile and are interested in providing me with news, results, etc. then please contact me at:

For those interested in learning more about Calcio Femminile, here's some links:

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Honouring Franco Sensi

The departed A.S. Roma Patron and President will be laid to rest at the basilica of S. Lorenzo fuori le mura on Wednesday August 20, 2008. On that same date, the Italian National Team will be playing a friendly against Austria in Nice. In honor of Franco Sensi, the Azzurri will be wearing black armbands during that match and there will be a minute of silence in his honour prior to the match.

Meanwhile, there is talk of building a new stadium in Rome, one that will be named after Sensi.

It goes without saying that my thoughts and prayers are with the Sensi family, as well as the entire extended A.S. Roma family.

Here is the tribute of Roma Captain Francesco Totti, the son that Sensi never had:

"The death of president Sensi is very painful. We have lost a figure of pivotal reference in the history of Roma and this sport, but above all a man who was kind, passionate, true.

"He leaves us with 15 years of love which will remain indelible in my mind and my heart.

"Every day I spent with him is unforgettable, but the memory that I have most fixed in my mind at this time is that day at the Circo Massimo and his happiness.

"He loved Roma and did so much for this club and also on a personal level for so many players."

Monday, August 18, 2008

Rest in Peace - Franco Sensi

Following a bout with a long illness, one that has kept him in Rome hospital for the past two months, Franco Sensi, president of A.S. Roma, died at the age of 82. Sensi, who made his fortune in oil, bought the majority share of the Italian club in 1993, a time when Roma was on the verge of bankruptcy.

His funeral is scheduled for Wednesday.,19528,11854_4004835,00.html

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Houston Dynamo defeat Real Salt Lake, Control First Place

Saturday night the Houston Dynamo defeated Real Salt Lake 4-3 and took control of first place in the Western Conference. For more about the match and to hear post-game comments from Coach Dominic Kinnear, Brad Davis, Pat Onstad, Ricardo Clark, Nate Jaqua, and Brian Mullan, be sure to subscribe to the free World Soccer Wrap (c) podcast on iTunes. And don't forget to download World Soccer Wrap: Serie A (c).

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Saturday Match Day in Houston

After a much deserved and needed week off from matches, the Houston Dynamo return to the pitch tonight at Robertson Stadium in Houston, where they'll be hosting Western Conference leaders, Real Salt Lake. The Dynamo are only one point behind RSL, while FC Dallas is one point behind Houston, which means this is a big, important match for the Dynamo, a match where the 3 points will be very, very important for the Dynamo.

The good news for the Dynamo, but bad news for U.S. Soccer, is that midfielder Stuart Holden and defender Patrick Ianni are back from China where they were part of the U.S. Men's soccer team. I suspect that both will start on the bench. Holden played a substantial part in all three of the men's team matches in China, so a little extra rest is in order. Since Eddie Robinson and Richard Mulrooney have been cleared to start for the Dynamo tonight, I suspect Ianni will also be on the bench.

Brian Ching will miss Wednesday's match against Chivas USA since he'll be playing with the USMNT as it takes on Guatemala in World Cup Qualifying (no wonder MLS schedules matches when international matches are taking place, CONCACAF schedules matches during important tournaments like the Olympics), but Ching will be available for the Dynamo tonight.

And of course there is the weather factor here in Houston. It is currently a little before 2:30 p.m. local time and Houston has been experiencing heavy, but scattered, thunderstorms. The rain has been heavy enough that there is localized flooding, such as at my in-laws' house in Baytown.,5143,700251287,00.html

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Good News for A.S. Roma

News coming out of Rome is that Roma Captain Francesco Totti is fully recovered from his ACL injury and subsequent surgery. He's played 30 minutes, and scored in a goal, in a friendly against Egypt's Al-Ahly and will be available for the SuperCoppa on August 24.

Additionally, after months of speculation and rumor, Real Madrid and Roma have come to terms on a deal that will see Julio Baptista join the Giallorossi.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

The Return of Baggio?

Looks like football legend Roberto Baggio is set for a return to Brescia, as a manager:

New Episodes of World Soccer Wrap

Episode 80 of World Soccer Wrap and Episode 22 of World Soccer Wrap: Serie A are available for free on iTunes and at:

This week on World Soccer Wrap: Serie A, a look at the Court ruling in favor of a Napoli fan against Inter Milan, the war of words between the gaffers of Inter and Juve, and Italy's first game in the olympics, as well as the quiet transfer market.

This week on World Soccer Wrap - the situation at L.A. Galaxy.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Drinking in L.A.

The first part of the title does not really have anything to do with this blog post, but, not surprisingly, the last part of the title does.

Yesterday I posted my take on how Beckham in the MLS is a success, partly because the Galaxy are not dominating the league, and I posted that knowing that the Galaxy, its FO, and its fans want to be dominating the league and I can't blame them.

So, it wasn't surprising that in light of their current form, AEG decided to pull the trigger on Alexi Lalas and Ruud Gullit today. As of now, Cobi Jones has been promoted to interim manager of the club.

For some time I've been of the position that Alexi Lalas should not be GM at Galaxy, or anywhere else. His track record as GM is not anything to write home about. What he should be is a PR guy, a promoter for a club or MLS in general, he's good at that, he doesn't seem good at running the day to day affairs of a club.

At the beginning of the season I would have put my money on Lalas departing mid-season, but Gullit hanging on longer. But that isn't the case as seen by today's events, and when word went out that Gullit's house was on the market, you knew it wasn't going to last much longer.

I don't know if Gullit was given enough time to adjust to the MLS and the salary cap and its limitations, but he's gone. I hope all the best for Cobi, I think that would be a great story if one of the best known American players of chapter one of the Post-Modern Era of American Soccer could transition into being a great coach. Sadley, I fear that Cobi is already hamstrung by the situation at Galaxy and it won't really give us a good idea if Cobi has what it takes to become a MLS coach.

I think the big lesson that MLS clubs will learn from today's events, and the Galaxy's season, is that when you have the majority of your salary cap tied up by three players, you really sacrifice at all other positions.

Last week's events concerning the SuperLiga bonus money is the first salvo, in my opinion, of what is going to become a very contentious negotiations regarding the next MLS Collective Bargaining Agreement. Is the MLS set for its very first lock-out or strike? Very possibly.

BUT . . . .

The problems at the Galaxy might be a godsend to the players, in that by the time it comes to put rubber to the road with the next CBA, AEG might be putting pressure on the owners to expand the payscale and the salary cap, and in light of AEG's history with the league, other owners are more likely to give into the idea. Additionally, one hopes, that the growing number of wealthy owners in the MLS might be looking for the opportunity to flex a little more spending power.

Should be an interesting couple of years ahead of us.

Sunday, August 10, 2008


It has been just over a year now since David Beckham made the move from Real Madrid to the L.A. Galaxy, enough time to more accurately gauge what Beckham means to the MLS and whether his presence has benefitted the MLS.

In my opinion, to date, the Beckham MLS experiement has been a success. Maybe not so much for Beckham personally, or even the Galaxy as a club, but for the MLS as a whole, it has been a success.

Beckham did his part for the MLS before he ever slipped on the Galaxy kit or laced up his boots at the Home Depot Center. Merely by inking the deal with the Galaxy, Beckham brought the MLS a huge amount of attention and made sports journalists in the U.S. and abroad pay attention to the MLS, including the likes of Jim Rome, who might not have changed his ignorant soccer bashing ways, but he had to pay attention.

Unfortunately, when Beckham arrived, he was hampered by an injury, which was aggrevated further when Beckham, like any top level athlete is prone to do, took to the pitch before letting the injury properly heal. Still not fully recovered when the Galaxy faced Pachuca in the group stage of SuperLiga 2007, myself and others were chagrined to see Beckham start against a FMF side that is very physical and willing to go for the weak spots of opposing players, so it was not a huge surprise to see Beckham go down with a new injury.

Granted Beckham's rocky start was fodder for the soccer haters and AngloSnobs, but really, did we expect anything less of them. Even if Beckham did not have the injury problems the haters would have found something else to pick on and pick apart.

I believe, suspect that the presence of Beckham in the MLS proved beneficial in the off-season to those clubs looking to recruit young talent from South America and other locales. The presence of Beckham in the MLS had to give the league a higher reputation in the eyes of young players looking to make a name for themselves.

As for this season, Beckham is fully recovered from his injuries of last season and has become an important, key player on his squad, a crucial competent in the many of the 38 goals scored by the Galaxy so far this season. However . . . .

And this is why the Beckham in MLS is a success story . . .

The Galaxy are not leading the Western Conference, are not a contender for the Supporter's Shield, and, after just over half a season, have 23 points with 6 wins, 8 losses, and 5 ties.

The Galaxy have not dominated the MLS. Beckham, despite his skill level, has not dominated the MLS. And we all know that if Beckham and the Galaxy dominated, then the haters would latch onto that as further evidence of their already dim, ill-informed view of the MLS and U.S. soccer.

Granted, the Galaxy might have a better record if they had a better defense, but they don't and even if they did I suspect that, based on watching their play, would merely turn a couple of those losses into ties, which would put them in contention but they would still not be dominating the league.

So, in my opinion, the Beckham in MLS experience has a been a good, successful ride, despite some bumps in the road.

Mourinho v. Ranieri

The war of words has already started:

Friday, August 8, 2008

Napoli Fan Wins Existential Damage Case

An Italian Court, based in Naples, has ordered Inter Milan to pay 1,500 Euros to a Napoli supporter who sued the Milano side for existential damage. This suit stems from the match last October when Napoli played, and lost to, Inter Milan at the San Siro. Inter supporters flew banners and chanted songs disparging the southern city of Naples, primarliy referencing the garbage problem due to a dispute between the city and the Camorra controlled waste services companies.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Stuart Holden scores winning goal for USA

(c) Associated Press

Well, Houston Dynamo midfielder Stuart Holden did the U.S. proud, scoring the only going in the team's victory over Japan, in the 47th minute in their opening match of Olympic group play. Today's win gave the US team an important 3 points, which will be crucial to their desire to advance beyond the group stage. The U.S. are in Group B, which includes, in addition to Japan, the Netherlands and Nigeria, neither of which can be taken lightly.

Thanks goes to the Dynamo organization for making the above picture from the Associated Press available for use. Speaking of the AP, here's their report on the match:

And here are some other reports:

I should also note that Italy's Olympic team, which has no players over the age of 23, also won its opening match, beating Honduras 3-0. Among those scoring goals for Italy was Guiseppe Rossi, who was born in New Jersey to Italian parents (he was a topic of the most recent episode of World Soccer Wrap: Serie A).

Monday, August 4, 2008

Some Good Stuff from the Houston Chronicle

Columnist Richard Justice penned a nice column regarding fan support for the Houston Dynamo:

Bernardo Fallas blogs about an agreement that no matter who wins on Tuesday, the Dynamo and Revolution will spilt the $1 million SuperLiga prize:

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Who is Edouard???

Two words best describe the weather of late here in Houston, and they both start with H - - - Hot and Humid. Saturday night the temp was hovering at 100 degrees when the Dynamo took the pitch at Robertson Stadium. The good news is, that the heat took a bigger toll on the Columbus Crew then it did the Dynamo. Check for my report on that match as well as the SuperLiga semifinal in which the Dynamo finally defeated Pachuca on this week's episode of World Soccer Wrap. My report features post match comments from Coach Dominic Kinnear, Corey Ashe, Brad Davis, and Pat Onstad. I also managed to corner new Dynamo forward Kai Kamara so we could discuss this new chapter in his professional career. As always, the latest show will be available, for free, on iTunes.

As of yesterday, it appeared that Houston would be hot and rain free for days to come, so I was pleasently surprised to hear rain on the roof while I was watching Generation Kill tonight (if you have not watched that miniseries, do so, right away). Then the 10 o'clock news alerted me to the presence of a Tropical Storm called Edouard that seems intent on growing into a hurricane and coming ashore somewhere in the Houston-Galveston vicinity early this week. I guess it was a good thing for the SuperLiga final to be in New England afterall . . .

A quick and belated congratulations to the Lions of Bergamo, on July 19, they defeated the Giants of Bolzano, 56 - 54, in the Italian Super Bowl. Yes folks, they do play football Americano in Italy, and the Lions, unlike their namesake in Detroir, are a powerhouse.

Speaking of Italy, the latest episode of World Soccer Wrap: Serie A will be available soon on iTunes. This week, in a suprisingly long show, I discuss the Supercoppa and the likilhood that it will not be in the Meadowlands this year, the potential strike of players in the lower leagues, the viability of lower leagues in the face of the worldwide credit crunch, Mr. Rossi of New Jersey but playing for the Italian Olympic squad, and the Italian diaspora.

A quick reminder, I still want your Serie A predictions for how the table will look at the end of the season, send your predictions to